Last Friday, I attended the annual thanksgiving service and prayer day at Kitty’s school. It was a special day to give thanks for the blessed year that has been, as well as pray for the class eight candidates who started their KCPE examinations today.
Even though giving thanks is a daily practice for me, I wanted to join other parents, teachers and the rest of the school fraternity in giving thanks together as a community. In addition, I also wanted to pray together with the parents of the class eight candidates.
The thanksgiving and prayer service was led by a church minister (Kitty is in a Christian-based school) and before dedicating the candidates in prayer, she asked their parents to join them at the front so that they could pray together. Once there, the minister then asked the parents to say something to their child — basically anything that came to their mind.
The minster then asked the pupils to do the same, to tell their parents anything that came to their mind. And once again, both parents and pupils engaged in light conversation and smiles.
Shortly thereafter, the minister asked both parent and candidate to forgive each other for any wrongs they may have done. She urged them to ask for forgiveness from each other. The minister asked them to let go of any anger or resentment that either might have been having towards the other.
Now, in all relationships, conflicts are inevitable. It is very rare that you will always be in agreement with someone you are in a close relationship with. Differences of opinion will always arise and if agreements are not solved well, they could lead to chronic anger, bitterness, resentment and hatred. Relationships between parents and children can sometimes be volatile. Parents sometimes get hurt by their children’s actions. Children too get hurt by some of their parents’ actions and the words they say to them.
Back to the minster, she announced that as the candidates prepared for their exams, it was important for them to do so with a light heart, a clear conscience devoid of any anger or hatred for anyone, especially their parents. If they had wronged their parents, if they had been disobedient, or if they had been rude to them, she urged them to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with them.
Similarly, parents were asked to forgive their children and to seek forgiveness from them for any wrongs they may have done to them — either knowingly or unknowingly.
Soon, the smiles and light laughter the parents and candidates had been sharing before was replaced by hugs and tears as both embraced each other. The children buried their heads in their mother’s bosoms and father’s chests as they cried. The parents held them close, not ashamed to let their tears fall down on their children’s heads. Handkerchiefs began being pulled out of pockets as the parents and children conversed, amid sniffles. Some parents had never hugged their children in years.
The moment was surreal, and we parents who did not have candidate children felt tears involuntarily strolling down our faces. The message being sent out was not only for parents with candidate children. It was a message for all parents. Forgive your children. And ask your children for forgiveness. Do not think you are above reproach as a parent.
As I left the school that afternoon, holding Kitty in my hand, I left with a refreshed perspective on how to approach issues with my children, especially where disagreements are concerned.
Thing is, haven’t you ever come across that adult who still says they have never forgiven their parent for something they did to them when they were a child? And they are still so bitter about it? And even avoid that parent? Some even deny their parents the opportunity to hang out with their grandkids, as a form of ‘punishment’ because they hate their parents so much? Forgiveness is important.
Well, I am still a young parent, and I am happy to get to learn new things each day as I raise my two sons.
ION, when will my Kitty get to class eight? Gosh! Happy though we are moving from KG1 to KG2.
*Article courtesy: The Star.